In search of Dulcinea and eternity

The Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra, Aleksandr Sladkovsky and Mario Brunello have presented a very complicated concert programme

The Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra has played a concert with one of the outstanding cellists of modern time Mario Brunello in the Saydashev State Big Concert Hall. Compositions of Richard Strauss and Anton Bruckner sounded that evening. Music lovers of the capital could acquaint with the programme in the Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra's season pass in the Moscow Philharmonic. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

''When Don Quixote sits atop Rocinante''

The first part was given to a concert for cello and orchestra of Richard Strauss's Don Quixote. More precisely, the author titled the music as follows: Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character. Strauss was inspired by Cervantes's novel Don Quixote de la Mancha. According to the composer, the ironic nature of this parody to the knightly novel attracted him.

However, Don Quixote by Cervantes somehow went beyond the author's idea and also became an embodiment of fearlessness and nobility, what Strauss did in fact. Mocking the knight with a sad character and his loyal crafty servant Sancho Panza, the composer doesn't limit himself to the lyrical interpretation of the plot – Don Quixote is naïve, noble and in love with an imaginary lady love Dulcinea del Toboso. A dream about unreal love, about Dulcinea is one of the themes of Strauss.

Strauss's romanticism is close and understandable to maestro Sladkovsky, searches of an unattainable ideal, the road a person covers having made himself better is one of the themes the conductor is paying tribute to. In this sense, ''the searches for Dulcinea'' connect with recent day-dreams about the ''eternal femininity'' in an internal hidden way, it's what we heard in the otherworldly merger of choirs, soloists and the orchestra when performing Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8. Yes, the music is different, but the aspiration of the soul for the ideal is identical.

Mario Brunello performs with top orchestras and performers, he plays the cello made in the early 17 th century, it features the noble theme of Don Quixote. Photo: culture.ru

It seemed that there were two Don Quixotes on the stage when performing Richard Strauss's concert – the conductor and the soloist, amazing Mario Brunello, the first Italian to win the first award in the Tchaikovsky international contest. Brunello performs with top orchestras and performers, he plays the cello made in the early 17 th century, it features the noble theme of Don Quixote. Sladkovsky's Don Quixote is a wise man with a kid's soul, without doubt.

The lyrical and the parodic, the elevated and the comic – this all mixed in the interpretation of Strauss's concert by the Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra and the cellist. And a sad final when we should remember the epitaph from Cervantes's novel: ''For if he like a madman lived, at least he like a wise one died.''

With dedication

The second part of the Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra and Aleksandr Sladkovsky's concert was dedicated to Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 whose interpretation was in a kind of contrast with Richard Strauss's concert. However, this is logical. We should note once again that the maestro's principle of work with the orchestra and is to up and master as complicated music as possible.

The maestro's principle of work with the orchestra and is to up and master as complicated music as possible. Photo: Maksim Platonov

As a rule, Bruckner dedicated his symphonies to somebody. His Symphony No. 9 wasn't an exception. As a very religious person who wrote a lot of spiritual music, the composer dedicated it to God. Obviously, Bruckner's poorer health at that moment made him think of passing away, the road soul would inevitably cover – towards God.

The mystique, some other-worldliness of Bruckner's music in Symphony No. 9 have been accurately caught by the conductor. The game of the orchestra he chairs has both fatality and hope for eternal life, the light soul will see. One of the themes the composer himself called as ''Farewell to Life'' is, nevertheless, a departure to the light, the departure to All Mighty who loves us. No grief, only pacification.

Moscow citizens were going to hear the concert programme that has been presented to citizens of Kazan. The Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra, Aleksandr Sladkovsky as well as Mario Brunello were to perform it in the P. Tchaikovsky Moscow Philharmonic in their season pass.

By Tatiana Mamayeva

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